Professor Forman

Data Driven Decision vs. Decision Driven Data

Data Driven Decision (see Figure below):
A decision involves the choice of an alternative, such as which car should I buy, or combination of alternatives, such as which stocks to include in my portfolio of investments. A data driven decision is a decision based, at least partly, on data. (Judgment as well as data is involved). Incorporating data adds credibility when making a decision. A rational data driven decision is a data driven decision based on reasons — the reasons, as discussed in Decision By Objectives are the objectives for which the decision is being made.

Decision Driven Data (see Figure below):
Decision driven data on the other hand, is not a decision at all; it is data that supports a predetermined decision or choice. For example, I bought my new car because …. A decision based on decision driven data lacks credibility because it precludes any data or interpretation of data that isn’t in support of the predetermined alternative. There is no articulation of objectives that were considered in choosing the predetermined alternative and thus cannot be said to be a rational decision.

Can you think of an example or examples of decision driven data that has been filtered to support a predetermined alternative and for which justification of a decision is based on the decision driven data rather than the achievement of objectives? Pay attention to the difference between “What car should I buy” and “Why I bought this car”.

%d bloggers like this: